Tag Archives: impermanence

As Long As There Is Light

For me, mindfulness is the source of infinite possibilities. In mining the details of the present, I set up my options for the future. Yet, nothing stays, even in stone.

I like the fluidity of the present but the past is immutable. Once, I spent a lot of time there but rarely do I visit now, which does not keep my mind from offering.

Memory after memory rolls by; action captured as still life. Mindfulness through a philosophical perspective.

However, my reality on this day is anything but abstract. My physical pain is beyond the distraction level, and it shows no sign of abating.

Recent lab report results support the presence of increased inflammation and the ever-present chronic anemia.

I don’t usually post on such a day but working with the reality I have–every day–is the purpose of Aim For Even (AFE).

For decades, I lost days and jobs trying to rest so that the days to come would be better. Sometimes, that took months or even years. In chronic illness, rest is elusive. The body is at war. Mine is fighting itself and has been for four decades.

Some seven years ago I began working with my day-to-day reality rather than discarding a day because I could not meet expectations. I immersed myself in the experience of being chronically ill–“sat with it” through hours of mindful meditation.

It is a practice I never left.

I try to bring an evenness of mind into the experience of my day. It requires an ongoing adjustment of my energy. It means I must stay present, no matter what. That’s AFE.

I am old and have not aged well. And yes, that once swallowed hard. I no longer look at my face in terms of how it may be filtered but as is. There is still light in my eyes.

I want to live the rest of my life a #DailyDose at a time, preferably with equanimity. I fail on so many days. Still, I immerse myself completely into any activity–even the most mundane—it is how I learn another way, find a new option, or my perspective broadens.

In equanimity, there is space for signals from both body and mind. I am not transcending either one but sitting with both. I know my pain level will change— life is impermanent— I choose not to attach to that pain nor do I avoid its presence.

I make room for it. Rather than rising and falling with the peaks and valleys of pain, I meet it at its base. Impermanence will do the rest.

In some ways, change has lost its edge for me, not that I don’t give it respect. I do. I don’t fear it. Indeed, in my more philosophical moments, I wonder why I ever did.

Aim for Even posts offer equanimity a dose at a time. No day or dose is ever the same, even if the aim is. You may read about the origins of Aim for Even here or on this site’s About page.

When There Is No Other Name

Sometimes, I leave too much unwritten but then, there are those times I “run aground” a metaphor. My writing lies somewhere between poetry and prose, falling short of either. Yet, it reflects the way I live now, a place in between.

Yesterday’s post mentions an acceptance of nothingness, as if there were no fear attached. In a society that values objects, possessions, the security of identity–more than 10,000 things–nothingness is its own terror.

I’m not a stranger to that terror for most of my life nothingness was my greatest fear, if I had known the concept. Some would argue that I do not have “enough things” to appreciate nothingness. They would not be wrong, which is not to say they are right.

Aging may be an advantage in assuming a larger perspective on things and no things. I know chronic illness is. After 40 years, I get impermanence–it is insurance against stasis–it is rarely comforting, almost always challenging, but it offers options.

Opportunity, however, is not without loss. It took me years to accept that. Sometimes, opportunity knocked elsewhere before coming back round to me. Ultimately, I had to let go of what I could not live without. Yet, here I am.

Whether reading or writing, I have always loved words. They give me solace, like the nameless Tao and the 10,000 things it manifests. For me, nothingness is the nameless of which I catch a glimpse from time to time. Sometimes, with one of my 10,000 words, I bravely name it poetry.

Aim for Even posts offer equanimity a dose at a time. No day or dose is ever the same, even if the aim is. You may read about the origins of Aim for Even here or on this site’s About page.

The Love I Am yet to Know

No thing or no one withstands the wave of impermanence. I remind myself of that quite often. I know it will wash over me, leaving me changed. That is the life experience.

I may be able to push my fist through a wave but it will still knock me to the ground, if necessary.

I’ve come to realize I don’t stop anything. I might divert an action or even avoid it temporarily but I will not outrun the wave, ultimately. Mine is to trust in being.

Hollow comfort that when fear is in abundance and love seems so scarce. Lack is a figment of fear. I don’t have to be fearless just a little bit curious. That is the only opening love needs.

An open heart will wash away the grime of fear, the first step in the return to love. It takes courage to accept that love isn’t stagnant. Like every other experience, love, too, evolves.

I no longer wrap my arms round that one moment when all life seems in balance. I once worked toward such a freeze-frame. It’s stasis and left me lacking.

In all the imperfection of impermanence, I would rather its wave. There is no lack of love in it. Change is only a love I have yet to experience.

In the end nothing we say or do

 will matter as much as the

 way we have loved one another.

 (Daphne Rose Kingma).

Aim for Even posts offer equanimity a dose at a time. No day or dose is ever the same, even if the aim is. You may read about the origins of Aim for Even here or on this site’s About page.

Grace Revisited: Still a Mystery

As Anne Lamott said, the mystery of grace “meets us where we are and does not leave us where it found us.”

No one and no one thing is immune.

We need not understand the mystery to experience it.

Grace strips away the nonessential, revealing our core— who we are— in mind and in body.

We have one body in a lifetime, and we require much of it. It delivers, ever adapting and adjusting to offer up the best experience available.

It is the heart that must make the mind bold to life anew, and somehow, it always does.

Grace moves us to deeds we once thought impossible.

Aim for Even posts offer equanimity a dose at a time. No day or dose is ever the same, even if the aim is. You may read about the origins of Aim for Even here or on this site’s About page.

Updating and Restarting

These are days of updating—for me and for my laptop–one restart after another, with mixed results. It is not a longing for default. That is a past setting.

My voice recognition software doesn’t keep up with impermanence any better than I do. It is more silent than not, choosy in what it recognizes and then…silence.

Not appropriate but a response nonetheless. All the while, the chaos of chronic illness interrupts me. Just as I settle in, the software shuts me off mid-sentence or even mid-breath.  

There is a “new” default, and neither one of us has found it. What was a lull in chronic illness is now a storm. In a mere morning, I am restarted. So many updates to explore.

There is never a good time for restarting or updating, be it computer software or chronic illness. Both seem to happen at night when laptop and I are at rest. Activation comes with waking up, opening a screen.miccosukee-water-lily-0713

Still, some updates are scheduled. In two weeks, I’ll have my second hip replacement, just three months after the first. I’m looking forward to the surgery as my right hip is all but worn out. No doubt that discomfort is encouraging my autoimmune and spinal cord disease and vice versa.

Yet, it is the silence of the voice recognition software that stops the writing. Two years ago, I gave up typing or keyboarding, as it only exacerbates the nerve damage in my arms and hands.  

Restarting and updating is exhausting. I take a lot of naps.

As for the software, that’s a bit more complicated. It has old issues that make it suspect to other programs that update regularly. As with humans, those issues are not always readily apparent.

Aim for Even posts offer equanimity a dose at a time. No day or dose is ever the same, even if the aim is. You may read about the origins of Aim for Even here or on this site’s About page. 

No Advantage over One Another

There is power in immersing one’s self in impermanence, meeting every moment for the new experience that it is. Chaos plays out against the background of constancy: Buddha nature, God, the web without a weaver.

Energy is everlasting. It animates everything in this dimension and outlasts each life. Our ability to adapt is the color of our life.

People with disabilities, whose lives are experienced through chronic illness, are on a first name basis with impermanence. Ours is a physically alternative way of experiencing life but it is no less rich. It just offers other treasures.let-go-of-the-plan-0811

Adapting is how the alternately abled live–it has to be–if we are to experience the color, the texture of existing in a physical dimension. We are always on the lookout for an alternative route. We know life is a constant adventure—we need not seek it.  

Physically and mentally, our access to the life experience is through differently abled doors but access to the door of equanimity knows no such distinction. There is only one route. It is common ground, equanimity, where all sentient beings know no advantage over one another.

Something so hard can be so easy if you have

just a little help. In the right place, under the

right conditions, you can finally stretch out

into what you’re supposed to be.

Hope Jahren

Aim for Even posts offer equanimity a dose at a time. No day or dose is ever the same, even if the aim is. You may read about the origins of Aim for Even here or on this site’s About page

Both Sides of a Sea

For the breath of life is in the sunlight

 and the hand of life is in the wind.

 (Khalil Gibran)

I grew up in Wyoming where wind is a way of life. Any wind can and will knock you over.

You will not see a hanging traffic light for it would not last the week or even the day, depending upon the “hand of life.”  

This is life on a high plains desert, stark and bright, a geological paradise. Wide open and windblown, a land of mountains and buttes that was once an inland sea.

Its story is written in the geology, its strata for all to see.

This morning, it was -51°F in Laramie, WY, so cold that anything can and will break. One does not pause long in this still sea of white waves.

laramie-wy-010617-2

Jami Kroeger photo

Such mornings are why I live in Florida, a state that was also once an inland sea. Mine is a sea story of moving from a mile high and higher to sea level and below.

It is not inconceivable that both states will one day return to inland sea status. Already, Florida shores shrink into the sea. A massive West Coast earthquake, some models show, may result in a coast line as far inland as Wyoming.

This morning in Tallahassee it was 51°F when I opened my laptop, simultaneously seeing Laramie at -51°F.

Both sides of a mirror, sea to sea.

The hand of life still.  

Aim for Even posts offer equanimity a dose at a time. No day or dose is ever the same, even if the aim is. You may read about the origins of Aim for Even here or on this site’s About page